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George Zoran
Top Prospect

55 Posts

Posted - 02/23/2006 :  09:44:05  Show Profile

What went wrong? That is the question every Canadian is asking themselves today. We all expected Gold Ė nothing less. Hockey is our game and 2002 proved that we are the best in the world. We needed this reconfirmation, especially after the losses to the Americans in the 1996 World Cup and the Czechs in Nagano.

Hindsight is 20/20 and anyone can say that Wayne Gretzky failed in selecting the team. Many have criticized him for not including Eric Staal, Jason Spezza, Marc Savard and Dion Phaneuf. Looking at the final roster, I donít think anyone would have predicted Canadaís inability to score a goal in 11 of its last 12 periods. And after seeing the opposition skate circles around us, it is easy to suggest that strong skaters like Paul Kariya, Alex Tanguay, and Sidney Crosby should have been named to the team. Take a look at the 2002 Gold medal winning team; speed was not their strong point: Steve Yzerman on one leg, an aging Mario Lemieux, a slowing Joe Nieuwendyk, the list goes on. The team that Wayne Gretzky put together for Torino was good enough to win Gold, but didnít.

I think the real problem was that every other team Canada faced (except for Italy and Germany who donít really count) played much better than we did. The Swiss, Fins, Czechs, and Russians were better. They put forth more effort, showed more emotion, and beat us at our own game. We have to wake up to the fact that on any given day, there are at least seven other countries that can beat us.

Other than Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo I canít name one player who stood out for Canada. If I was forced to choose I guess it would be Martin St. Louis. The rest of the team was awful. Canadaís defense was bad, the offense was worse and for that they find themselves on a plane back home. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

Letís give credit to the Russians because they deserved to win yesterdayís game. Alexander Ovechkin was dominant and it was very fitting that he scored the goal that sent us packing; every Canadian player should be taking notes on this guy. Ovechkin never stops trying, even when he is playing for the lowly Washington Capitals. He continuously puts forth the effort and plays with the passion that was so lacking on Team Canada.

The Olympics are over for the Canadian menís hockey team, but there is still much hockey to be played. I know it will be difficult, but letís try to enjoy the rest of the tournament.

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PickupHockey Pro

364 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2006 :  12:31:29  Show Profile
Insert "American" for "Canadian" and you have the story of my country's team. The boys from North America just didn't show up for the Olympics.
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